It's true -- statistics show that a high percentage of Americans either don’t get enough sleep, or suffer from a poor quality of sleep. Those "stats" also tell us that people who are sleep derived don't perform as well at school or work. BUT THAT'S NOT ALL!
We now know that there are also serious health implications for those who sleep poorly. Reaction time is reduced which increases the chances for an accident when driving a car. Bad sleep habits can also contribute to:
- anxiety disorder
- high blood pressure
- risk for heart disease
- poor immune function
- risk for diabetes
The amount and quality of sleep we get is determined by the amount of melatonin our bodies produce - especially in the evening before we go to bed. Our brains are programmed to produce more melatonin later in the day.
BUT MELATONIN PRODUCTION IS TURNED OFF
WHEN CERTAIN TYPES OF LIGHT ARE ABSORBED BY OUR EYES!
So what type of light will reduce our ability to get good quality sleep? It's the type of light we are exposed to much more often these days. It's the light emitted by:
- The new high tech lights that are replaceing the old incandescent bulbs
- Computer screens
- Electronic tablets (iPads, etc.)
- Smart phones
- Big screen LED TVs
Avoiding these sources of light entirely is difficult, but if we can reduce our exposure, our sleep patterns will improve. The high tech lenses we use to do this are sometimes confused with "blue blocking lenses" that are actually dangerous and cosmetically unappealing.
CAUTION - THERE IS A DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN BLUE BLOCKING AND BLUE FILTERING LENSES
Blue blocking lenses negatively affect color vision and can be a problem when driving and watching traffic lights -- and these lenses look terrible cosmetically because they are yellow colored. High tech blue filtering lenses DO NOT affect color vision but they still protect us from the harmful affects of blue light look fashionable.
There are two ways hi-tech filtering can be done.
- A coating can be put on the front of the lenses that filters and reflects back a significant amount of the harmful light (so it doesn't enter the eye). This is a good option for those who do an average amount of computer work each day and don't use a tablet, smart phone or computer within a few hours of bedtime.
- A more aggressive filter can be put into the lenses that filter almost all of the harmful wavelengths (without affecting color vision). This is ideal for those who like to read books or check Facebook on their electronic devices in the evening or sit in front of a computer screen all day.
(See end of this article for special offer)
SO THERE ARE GLASSES THAT HELP US SLEEP BETTER
Yes - blue filtering lenses can improve our sleep quality. Almost all of the glasses our doctors and staff wear have these filters. That's because our high tech office environment contains lots of computer screens - at our workstations and also on the high tech instruments that we use. More and more of our patients are electing to put high tech blue filtering technology in their glasses too.